tv [untitled] March 8, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PST
value which is an admittedly yuppie part. to the number of kids coming over from western addition as school groups to volunteer. i feel it stitches hayes valley into the broader communities around it. for me to see these people there, i think it makes my life better. i will say specifically about the fencing, the chain link fencing disappears to your eye when the landscape behind it is dark. you stop seeing the fencing. you see the farm. i don't think the fencing requirement is something that neighbors require to have a beautiful landscape. i like the idea of plants over it and if the farm existed for a longer period of time, say 10 years or some number we might say then it is required.
we don't need it now. it is great to have the farms. >> thank you. any further public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. i don't see any commissioners requesting to speak out. i would like to -- ok. >> i do think the fence -- i know of several of these urban gardens in the city. and i just think it would be a burden with that fencing requirement. i feel lower permitting fees -- we are trying to encourage these small business owners to get out there and sell their produce. i like what is happening here.
it made my neighborhood a lot nicer, so. >> commissioner. >> yes. i would like to know why is there a need for fencing and why is it a need for wooden fencing or a specific kind? is it for safety reasons? >> there is no fencing requirement at all. should ideas choose to use fencing they believe it should be in the line to maintain consistency. >> there is no fencing requirement. we are not requiring fencing. if someone decides to use fencing we would like it for consistency reasons that it follows the planning code. part of the city wide greenland scaping ordinance. >> if they want to put up
fencing it has to meet the requirement? >> yes. >> thank you. >> i would like to make a recommendation, commissioners, that we ask for a line to be added in the legislation that gives the zoning administrator discretion to approve fences that are not defined in the code. that would give flexibility to the different situations that we are seeing because i am concerned since these projects may be on borrowed land that the expense is just -- will be a barrier. so it is the zoning administrator has discretion then they can work with the surrounding environment and maybe that would help. so, green fencing would be allowed or some variation -- >> that seems to make sense. i will make note of that and
circle back. >> i want to follow up with the value added. i would like to make a recommendation that the sponsors, the proposal follow through with a value added component because the value added component is critical. if the fees are even reduced giving them a way to pay the fees is really important. the bay area produces eight times the food that we can consume. preserving food and having a means of distribution to the wider bay area or the wider world is really important. i think it is an opportunity in san francisco to a value added component i think it is very
important. if that could be done -- >> might i address that quickly. >> we agreed that there may be an opportunity on the value added component. we have already started setting up stakeholder meetings to talk about that. how many people would be accumulating in that spot and whether or not any neighbors might have concern busy that. i think from our perspective we would be open to the value added piece. on the fee and the permit fee side that is not something we would look at reducing. i am a gardener and an owner of solar panels and i still don't support eliminating fees in the instaulation of solar panels or in gardens because in the current environment city departments need to cover their cost. from that perspective there is
more room for opportunity on the value side than the fee reduction. i saw the president has arrived. i don't know if you want to make any comments as a co-sponsor. thank you very much. >> so it sounds like there is a general city ordinance in place for fencing requirements, period. >> that's correct. i presume part of it is driven by the work suggests that it is about aesthetic but i am sure it is also about safety. >> it is about consistency. >> we have an odd situation where they don't have to have a fence at all. if they do they have to have a
particular type of fence. >> that's correct. >> i would express a little bit of concern about starting the precedent of issuing out, you know, exceptions to what i agree with is a nice idea and something i want to be a supporter of which is locally home grown produce gets rid of fuel, machines carrying produce all over the world. i am totally behind that. but i also caution that every neat idea that comes along and people want to be treated with exceptions whether it be for abiding by city ordinances that have been around for a long time and are there for a reason. and every idea and every new business that comes along, i
would like to see the support and the encouragement of that business in the form of tax incentives. for being successful. as opposed for incentives for, you know, taking it on which is also an important component of any business. the risk element. it would be nice to see the incentive there at the other end of it. i am wondering how much of a burden it would place. the other thing is how long do these urban farms tend to last? a construction site as a pretty ugly fence on it we know it won't be there for more of the construction process, 6-9 months depending on the size of the project. how long do they tend to be in existence for? >> i don't know. i know there are a few traditional ones that lasted a
while. i don't have the exact figure. >> is there any way we can compromise with something that satisfies the aspects and then plants on the other side of it? would anything like that work at all? >> i think from a planning departments perspective i think that would work. i think at this point the planning department would like to see the consistency city wide. >> ok. thank you. >> commissioners, do we have any motions on this item? is this an action item,
director? >> correct. >> ok. >> can you recite the proposal? >> direct the legislative sponsors to add language allowing the zoning administrator to work with the urban agriculture, give the zoning administrator discretion to approve that are not expressly defined in the code and to work with the urban agriculture. >> may i ask for more clarity. right now it is requiring that should a fencing go up it meets the current code requirements. what i am hearing you ask is should the farm want to put up a fence in this particular
situation we are asking them to work with the farmers to come up with a viable solution. yes. >> we are just not trying to give a carte blanche clear, no need to wor bea fence. we want something to work for both sides. >> recognizing these are businesses and that there are fees and cost to running any business that we develop criteria for value added goods. that the city develops and
allow value added goods to be sold on site. i will say the request of the sponsors at language giving the zoning administrator discretion to approve a fence not specifically in the code and to work with the project sponsors and recognizing that there are fees and cost to any business allowing them the opportunity to sell value added goods through criteria that would be the second part of that motion. >> ok. >> do we have a seconder? >> i second. >> ok.
>> do you want a role call for that one? >> yeah. >> on that motion -- let's see. just a moment. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> commissioners, that motion passes. >> thank you. next item please. >> discussion and possible tooks make recommendations to the board of supervisors on file 101 -- 110114 environment code yellow page distribution pilot program. this is an ordinance adding to
the san francisco environment code to establish a three-year pilot program to reduce waste from the yellow page phone directorys to private residences in san francisco and reduce neighborhood blight by restricting the distribution to circumstances where one, there is personal delivery of the directory to human beings and two there is a request to the residence or business or directories are maintained for pick up as a distribution center or business open to the public. develop and publicize alternatives to private possession of such directories and inform the public of the option and means for obtaining such directories and making environmental findings. in your packet is the file number along with the legislated digest and a
document entitled ordinance proposed, frequently asked questions. also in your packets is one letter and opposition, one letter of support along with a series of emails that include an order six business emails in support, 70 nonbusinesses are not specified persons in support and five nonbusinesses opposed. lastly i have to distribute a letter plus attachments in opposition. >> i would like to request permission to recuse myself from this item. it is listing i might have a
personal conflict of interest with it. >> ok. do we have to take a motion to approve that? >> yes. that is correct. >> may i have a motion? >> i move. >> i second. >> all those in favor. >> aye. >> you are recused. >> first of all, thank you for having me here today. good to be back in front of the small business commission and i want to thank you for your service on this valentines day. as i think you know the proposal in front of you is first and foremost about honoring consumer preference and giving all a choice in whether to receive their yellow pages. it allows distributors to distribute yellow pages to all and any san francisco residents
and businesses who want one. anyone who wants a phone directory will get one. i think there has been a misunderstanding. this is not a ban on yellow pages in any way, shape or form. under my proposal they will still be delivered to anyone who personally accepts the directories as well as homes or businesses that request one. legislation is clear. there is no limitation on how yellow page distributors can contact residents to confirm that delivery of yellow pages is desired. they can email residents, call them, send direct mail or they can, for example, leave a sticky note on the door letting a resident know that a delivery is requested and that resident can check a box so they can receive the yellow pages again if they want one. under this ordinance the city
is required to undertake a robust outreach program to advise residents about the numerous ways they can receive their yellow pages. we want the city to do it with an emphasis on the seniors, disabled and others who might need additional assistance. this legislation as you understand will result in a significant reduction in the number of unwanted yellow pages in san francisco. but again because of the many alternative methods of delivery left to distributors and because of the city's out reach program we don't expect the legislation will significantly reduce the number of san francisco residents or businesses who are active users of the yellow pages. why are we doing this? we introduced the legislation because we need to save our resources and promote green and 21st century business practices and shrink our carbon footprint. i thought of this topic because of my own apartment building
year after year. during the winter i noticed a pile of abandoned, untouched phone books. we started to look into what the statistics were of yellow page phone book. it is estimated people of san francisco receive 1.6 unsolicited yellow page phone books. stack them on top of each other it is equal to over eight mount everest. we know the amount of natural resources to produce ask dispose of all of these yellow pages is staggering. in addition to the environmental impact this has a real cost. it is estimated the total cost to dispose or recycle phone books in san francisco is
estimated to be about $1 million per year, a cost borne by residents, taxpayers and small businesses. i want to also know and thank the many folks who have come out tonight to speak in support of this measure. and want to invite them up in case they have any comments that they would like to make. >> good evening commissioners. i am the waste coordinator for the city's department of environment. there is a tremendous amount of resources in play here. and i believe the impact would be great. we want to see that
conservation wherever we can get it when it does not have any negative impacts on our activities. >> i know there will be questions of the impact of this legislation on small businesses. and i want to mention as we all know every small business in the city looks to figure out how to get the biggest bang for their advertising dollar. it costs small businesses a lot to advertise in yellow pages. we looked at the largest 5 directories. the average cost for a double half column ad was almost $17,000. publishers set their rateset their rates based on the distributing number of books. the $1.6 million number i was referringing to or some portion of that depending on the distributer. which is nowhere close to the actual number of people who are
in the books. you know folks are paying for advertising with millions of these books over the years that end up in our stream and they are basically paying extra for business distributer practices. thr a lot of different ways for distributers to get their pages into the hands of folks who want them without forcing them on everybody. there are successful models to do this. there are many nonenglish and ethnic publishes in san francisco who are a great model for this. we spoke to chinese l.b.g.t. and spanish yellow page publishers. they don't drop them in front of homes or leave them piled abandonned in front of doorways or apartment buildings. instead they leave them where they're asked or given permission to leave them on racks in supermarkets, restaurants, key business locations where people can pick them up at any time. with that, unless there are any other questions, i know there
are a number of people that would like to speak and comment on behalf of this proposal. >> thank you very much, president chiu. commissioners, do we have any questions? >>ly wait until after public comment. >> we'll go to public comment. i think since this seems like a very important issue to a lot of people, i will give them three minutes. >> commissioners, we need to be consistent for the amount of time we allow for each particular item. if we started out with two minutes, we have to stay with two minutes. >> fair enough, two minutes it is. >> members of the public, you will have two minutes to speak. i will call names. you can line up on the side wall and please keep your comments limited to two minutes and speak clearly. dina sanders. chuck teller, steve unger, steve barton,.
>> thank you, commissioners. hello again. my name is dinah sanders, san francisco resident former retail business owner and founder of the holiday disyardia, which is for letting go of sthauf doesn't make your life awesome and phone books definitely fall in that category. they're something many of us no longer use. i wrote four years ago about not being able to remember the last time i used a phone book. my first thought on this one, as i see some upset reactions from the business community, is are there any other publicity practices which cost us over a million dollars a year in cleanup and cause this near constant level of urban blight? and if they exist, let's eliminate those too. i strongly support this recommendation. at a minimum, even without this, without these new rules, phone book distributers must obey 184.70 and respect the no hand
bills rules. i want a way i cannot get these books. i shouldn't have to go through the effort of an opt-out call to every vendor any more than i should have to speak to every dog owner personally about it being not ok to leave poop on my steps. >> thank you. next speaker. >> president o'brien, members of the commiss, i'm chuck teller, founder and executive of catalog choice. we're nation's largest independent privacy choice portal serving 1.3 million households, ,300 companies. we have processed over 18 million requests to date regarding consumer choice. we're a registered nonprofit working on behalf of the public interest to make choice work. we launched our service in 2007 because of short comings to the direct marketing industry service. we added phone books to our service in 2010 because similar
short comings to the yellow page industry service. i'm here today to support the yellow page distributing pilot program. on behalf of 13,750 that use our service to stop unwanted mail and phone books from being delivered. there are three poem elements to an effective choice program that i want to bring to your attention. one, it must be easy. two, it must be effective. three, it must be enforceable. while some may tell you the situation is under control, i believe the research you're hearing about will prove otherwise. i can also tell you that the key element isn't forceability. if it's enforceable, it will be effective and make it easy. four years into our efforts to help consumers control the volume of mail and phone books that come to their door steps i can tell you there's no evidence that honoring choice has an adverse impact on business.
there are several hundred brands that continue to ignore consume irchoice. it's not perfect. absence of a cost of ignoring consumer requests, some companies keep on mailing or delivering phone books. in 2010 we turned to the federal trade commission to address this issue. in october 2010 we made it easy for consumers to submit complaints to the federal trade commissions through choice. now there's a cost of noncompliance. now companies are starting to listen. there are a few holdouts but they will fall. one more moment -- >> i will give you another 20 seconds. >> thanks. >> where are we with the directory industry? the city of seattle adopted the nation's first ordinance that requires directory publishers to honor consumer choice considered through the city's registry. failure to do to will result in a penalty. why your ordinance will differ in its approach, the fact you're establishing a regulatory regime to enforce choice is critical. so thank you for your time, your
attention and your leadership in helping us enforce choice. >> thank you. next speaker. >> following speakers, aaron burke, jenna pomeroy, peter hillin. >> i am steve unger. i'm a resident of san francisco and i would like to thank the commissioners for allowing me to speak. i holy support this very reasonable proposition that's been put forth. i live in the golden gateway apartments across from the ferry build and we started with a pile of 200 phone books of which now 105 are left are just going to be thrown into a landfill. i understand that the business community could be concerned with this. i think it's a very reasonable plan given that anyone who wants -- wants one of these phone books can readily get it and with the proliferation of the internet now, it will be
interesting to see what comes up with this. one other comic comment. this is the first place i ever lived in which i feel there is praptory democracy and i want to congratulate you guys and women. >> thank you. next speaker? >> good evening, commissioners. and thank you for allowing me to speak. name is steve barton, and i'm the owner of passion cafe on sixth street and some of you have been there. i recognize your faces and i appreciate that. in fact, tonight if you all want stop by valentine's day, we're open for that. i am a small business and i am very happy that this item has come up. i fully support it. i believe that in the last few